Semi Radradra named to make Test debut for Fiji in Pacific Nations Cup

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Former rugby league star Semi Radradra will make his Test debut for Fiji against Georgia in the Pacific Nations Cup at Suva this weekend.

Toulon's Fijian winger Semi Radradra (L) runs with the ball during the French Top 14.

Toulon's Fijian winger Semi Radradra runs with the ball during the French Top 14.

Source: Getty

Radradra, who played for Parramatta in the NRL and now plays for Toulon in France, will start at centre in a backline which also includes France-based Nemani Nadolo on the wing, Ben Volavola at first-five, and Jale Vatubua at second-five.

Radradra has been in outstanding form lately for Toulon in France's Top 14, for the Barbarians team which beat England at Twickenham, and for the Fiji sevens side in the world series.

Kini Murimurivalu and Vereniki Goneva, who were try-scorers in Fiji's 24-22 win over Samoa in the first round of the PNC last weekend, return at fullback and on the right wing.

Prop Ratu Vere Vugakoto and prop Manasa Saulo join veteran Campese Ma'afu in a beefed-up front row. Coach John McKee said Fiji would need to be strong in the forwards to counter the powerful Georgia pack.

Captain Akapusi Qera will start at flanker and Viliama Mata at No. 8 in a rearranged back row.

Georgia is starting Clermont flanker Vito Kolelishvili after he missed the last two games injured, and Russia-based midfielder Lasha Malaguradze in his first start since November 2016. Also, Agen wing Tamaz Mchedlidze returns on the right after missing the Tonga win.

Georgia and Fiji have a win each against the other, and will meet again in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Osaka.

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